South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Naledi Pandor has warned global powers against dictating how African countries should respond to global issues saying South Africa will never accept what she termed “patronising bullying”.South African Minister Tells West To Stop “Patronising Bullying” On Ukraine
In South Africa, Blinken has been pressed about legislation passed by the House this year that aims – in the words of its author, House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) – to “counter the malign influence and activities of the Russian Federation and its proxies in Africa.”
The text describes Russia’s “malign influence and activities” as those “that undermine United States objectives and interests.” – i.e, US corporate interests!
Last week, Pandor offered pointed criticism of the legislation, describing it as an “unprecedented” measure that is “intended to punish countries in Africa that have not toed the line on the Russia-Ukraine war.”
The Countering Malign Russian Activities in Africa Act passed the House in April in a 415-9 vote, and now faces Senate consideration.
At a joint press briefing with Blinken on Monday, Pandor expressed the hope the Senate would reject the “offensive” bill.
“When we believe in freedom, as I’m saying, it’s freedom for everybody, you can’t say because Africa is doing this, you will then be punished by the United States,” she said.
Pandor argued that South Africa’s position on Ukraine was one of abhorring war and supporting a search for peace.
She also suggested that the U.S. employs double standards, by supporting freedom for Ukraine but not for the Palestinians.
“We should be equally concerned at what is happening to the people of Palestine as we are with what is happening to the people of Ukraine,” she said. “We’ve not seen an even-handed approach in the utilization of the prescripts of international law.”
In a television interview in Johannesburg earlier in the day, Blinken was asked about the House legislation, and said, “I can only speak for our administration and for the president. Our focus is not on saying to friends, partners: you have to choose.” – liar!
In contrast to those diplomatic words, when the Meeks bill was first marked up by the committee he chairs, ranking member and co-sponsor of the legislation Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) spoke of the need to “make every state choose between doing business with the free world or with a war criminal” – the latter a reference to Russian President Vladimir Putin. – then they shouldn’t be doing business with any NATO country!